Billing Definitions

As a telecommunications company, BroadStar is required to charge certain taxes and fees imposed by federal, state, local and municipal governments. Please see below for a detailed breakdown of the charges that may appear on your bill.

FCC Approved Customer Line Charge: See Federal Subscriber Line Charge

Federal Access Charge: See Federal Subscriber Line Charge

Federal Excise Tax: See Federal Tax

Federal Tax (Aka Federal Excise Tax): This tax appears on both your local and long distance phone bills. It is charged as a set percentage regardless of which telephone service provider you use. Little known fact is that it started as a temporary luxury tax in 1898 on telephone service to pay for the Spanish-American War. Now the proceeds go to the U.S. Treasury as general revenue, since the war is over. For more details on this tax, you can contact the Internal Revenue Service Excise Tax Branch.

Federal Subscriber Line Charge (Aka Federal Access Charge, Customer Line Charge, Interstate Single Line Charge, FCC Approved Customer Line Charge, Subscriber Line Charge or SLC): This federally ordered charge billed by your local telephone company pays part of the cost to the local telephone company of supplying a phone line into your home or business. It is designed to help local phone companies recover the cost of providing "local loops" which refers to outside telephone wires, underground conduit, telephone poles, and other equipment and facilities connecting you to the telephone network. This is NOT a tax. It is a charge that is part of the price you pay to your local telephone company. Neither the FCC nor any other government agency receives the Federal Subscriber Line Charge. The FCC places a maximum cap on this charge.

Gross Receipts Tax Surcharge: See State and Local Taxes

Interstate Single Line Charge: See Federal Subscriber Line Charge

Interstate Tax Surcharge: See State and Local Taxes

Local Number Portability (Aka Number Portability Service Charge or LNP): This fee started to appear on many local telephone bills in February 1999. This fee allows local telephone companies to recover costs associated with supporting the technical capability to allow a consumer or business to retain their existing telephone number when switching to another local provider. Local companies are allowed, but not required, to pass on these costs. However most do. They are only allowed to charge this fee for five years from the first date they start to charge the fee, and are not allowed to start charging the fee until they can provide the ability to the end-user of retaining their phone number in the event of switching local telephone companies. Local telephone companies are required to make this "number portability" service available within 6 months of being requested to do so by another local telephone company wishing to service the area. This is NOT a tax. It is a charge that is part of the price you pay to your local telephone company. Neither the FCC nor any other government agency receives the Local Number Portability fee. Local telephone companies are not allowed to charge this fee for customers on the Lifeline Assistance Program.

Monthly Fee: Some calling plans have a per month fee in addition to all of the other fees. This differs from a monthly minimum. It is a set fee regardless of how many calls you make each month.

Monthly Minimum: This fee is charged by some carriers if your specific rate plan has volume requirements. This differs from a monthly fee. If, for instance, your plan requires a $25 minimum per month and you only made $20 of calls, you would see the remaining $5 as a monthly minimum fee.

911 Service Fee: This fee is charged in some localities to support the emergency 911 telephone service. It normally appears on the local telephone bill.

PICC (Aka National Access Fee, Presubscribed Interexchange Carrier Charge, Presubscribed Line Charge, Regulatory Related Charge, or Carrier Line Charge): Pronounced "pixie." This charge started on January 1, 1998 as part of the FCC overhaul of telephone fees. Long distance companies pay a flat fee to the local telephone company when you presubscribe your telephone line to their long distance service. (Sometimes referred to "Dial 1" or "Plus 1" service) The charge is designed to compensate the local telephone companies for the costs associated with providing "local loop" service. If a consumer or business has not selected a long distance company for its telephone lines, the local telephone company may bill for the PICC. Although every long distance company is charged the same flat rate per line, long distance companies are allowed to recharge you for this in any way they see fit, and each company uses a different method to charge this carrier specific fee. It is normally not presented to you in such a way that you would think it is a competitive pricing issue. But it is! Some companies do not charge this fee at all, and some charge a carrier specific flat fee. This is NOT a tax.

State and Local Taxes (Aka Gross Receipts Tax Surcharge, Interstate Tax Surcharge, State Universal Service Fund): State and local governments assess this charge in different ways and at different rates. Proceeds go to the local governing body. It can be imposed on the revenues of local telephone companies, and long-distance companies operating within a state. Although these taxes vary by your location, they are the same for all providers serving that area. For more information about these taxes, please contact your local and state tax offices. You can find their number in the government section of your local telephone directory.

State Universal Service Fund: See State and Local Taxes

Universal Service Fund Charge: See USF

USF (Aka Universal Service Fund Charge or Universal Service Charge): This charge started on January 1, 1998 as part of the FCC overhaul of telephone fees. All companies that provide telephone service between states pay a set percentage of their previous year's billings. The charge is designed to ensure affordable access to telecommunications services for telephone customers with low incomes, telephone customers who live in areas where the cost of providing telephone service is extremely high, libraries, schools, and rural health care providers. Although all companies providing interstate telephone service are charged the same percentage of their billings, companies are allowed to recharge you for this in any way they see fit, and each company uses a different method to charge this carrier specific fee. It is normally not presented to you in such a way that you would think it is a competitive pricing issue. But it is! Some companies do not charge this fee at all, some charge a carrier specific flat fee, others charge a percentage of your interstate and international usage, while others charge a percentage of your entire bill. Although the charge the companies pay is in essence a tax, the fee on your bill is carrier specific, and is NOT a set tax.